NST Editor quits over truth and 1MDB


June 4, 2016

NST Editor quits over truth and 1MDB

by FMT Reporters

Mustapha Kamil’s explanation highlighted by Kit Siang with challenge to other journalists

Mustapha Kamil’s online posting of why he resigned as group editor of the UMNO-controlled New Straits Times newspaper last month was highlighted by DAP leader Lim Kit Siang today, with an accompanying challenge to other Malaysian journalists.

In the posting, Mustapha (pic above) said he had left after a struggle with his conscience and the journalists’ code to seek the truth.

He said his decision came after the Wall Street Journal was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in April for its reporting on corruption allegations surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd – which he descibed indirectly as “an issue that happened right under my nose”.

Mustapha did not refer to the Journal by name, politely describing the financial daily as “an American newspaper, headquartered somewhere in Lower Manhattan in New York”.

His posting was highlighted by Kit Siang at his blog and in a press statement, Lim asked: “Are there no more journalists in the mainstream media in Malaysia to uphold the ‘truth discipline’ or who could search their conscience whether they are doing right by their nation, profession and future generations?”

Lim has been known to lambast Malaysian journalists, particularly editors, working in the politically-controlled press and often demanded that they leave the profession.

Picking up from Mustapha’s note, which has circulated on Facebook, Lim said the 1MDB affair had affected the reputation and standing of institutions such as the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police, Auditor-General’s Office, the Public Accounts Committee and even Parliament itself.

Mustapha’s resignation was reported in May. Although confirming that he was leaving, he would not speak about his reasons. He ended his 26-year career with NST at the end of May.

Lim reproduced Mustapha’s note verbatim. It said:

“On the morning of April 25th I walked into the CEO’s room with my resignation letter in hand. We sat and talked about my wish for a good one hour where naturally, the CEO enquired why I had wanted to do so.

“The CEO is a chartered accountant, a man who took his job very seriously, one who is adept with numbers and besides heading the company, someone whom I also considered a friend…

“There were two things I related to him that morning. First, just as he, a chartered accountant, would not hesitate to qualify a set of flawed accounts, signing each of them not only by his name, but also by the ethics enshrined within the professional body in which he was a member, I too take journalism ethics seriously.

“In my line of work, there is this element called the ‘truth discipline’. It is one that requires a journalist to be correct, right from the spelling of names of persons or places, to all the reports he must file. His responsibility is first to the truth, by which he must then guide society in navigating the path they had chosen.

“Second, I told him that I had weighed the situation for as long as I could but when an American newspaper, headquartered somewhere in Lower Manhattan in New York, wrote a story that got nominated for the coveted Pullitzer Prize, about an issue that happened right under my nose, I began to seriously search my conscience and asked myself why was I in journalism in the first place.

In my line of work, there is this element called the ‘truth discipline’. It is one that requires a journalist to be correct, right from the spelling of names of persons or places, to all the reports he must file. His responsibility is first to the truth, by which he must then guide society in navigating the path they had chosen.

“Second, I told him that I had weighed the situation for as long as I could but when an American newspaper, headquartered somewhere in Lower Manhattan in New York, wrote a story that got nominated for the coveted Pullitzer Prize, about an issue that happened right under my nose, I began to seriously search my conscience and asked myself why was I in journalism in the first place.

“We had a cordial discussion that morning and the CEO fully understood my predicament and the fact that there was little else that I could do. In my 27 years of being a journalist, I never once subscribed to the saying that if you can’t beat them, join them.

“In this line of work, there is no such thing as the path of least resistance. You have to stick to your principles. Around the world, an average of 110 like us, pay the ultimate price each year to get the true stories out. At the very least, I felt that as a journalist, I had to honour the sacrifices they had made in abiding by the discipline.

I hope that answers everything.”

The Wall Street Journal was nominated for international reporting. However the Pulitzer Prize – the highest annual journalism award in the United States – went to Alissa J Rubin of the New York Times for her moving accounts from Afghanistan about Afghan women “forced to endure unspeakable cruelties”.

The Journal wrote about 1MDB in a series of reports between July and August last year. The prime minister, Najib Razak, and his supporters have accused the Journal of making false accusations and of being used by the anti-Najib campaign to force him out of office.

SEE ALSO:

WSJ gets Pulitzer nomination for ‘masterful’ 1MDB reporting

1MDB: WSJ report on billions missing an outright lie

16 thoughts on “NST Editor quits over truth and 1MDB

  1. It’s been quite late in coming, so much damage big time been done….but people say it is better late than never….and a time to reflect, perhaps to seek a more righteous path…

  2. Admist a sea of Malay so called ” leaders” that are failing their people, you see these individual.lights. He is a career sycophant and yet there came a point he could not. Not only is his reference is from.a larger world, he did his part, on.his own, without comfort of others, to stand up – a giant courage for a career sycophant.

    How is it possible there are so few from the Malay establishment to stand up to the problems one.man? ALL these, Hadi’ bill, the destruction of institutions, systems, laws, the billions lost and continue to be wasted are due to the personal shortcoming of one mediocre man.

  3. The Truth of the matter FUNDATMENTARY, is,
    Irrespective and NOT condoning Najib and his 1MDB, or Wall Street Journals reports, it is our war, our duty , our people’s fight against MACCP, the deeply entrenched culture of Umno Baru and it’s leaders, that matters most.

    It (MACCP) is, WITHOUT doubt, the root cause of the SCANDALOUS Losses/Problems, born of the Mother 1979-1982 Rm 2.5 b BMF Loan Loss, exacerbated during Mahathir’s 22 years reign, that had brought the county to this dire state of affairs.

    Not excluding the PM, the cabinet ministers and the MPs and the leaders of all divides,and the politician, like LKS is still trying to be in self-denials, or by convenient or personal motivated designs, on Not targeting the root cause of the problems,there is no way the country can start on a Clean Slate, moving forward, missing the forest for the tree.

  4. Everything that King Midas touches turns into gold.

    Everything that the King of Cash touches turns into corruption, decay, scandal and financial ruin.

  5. ….and starting on the “Clean Slate” NEEDS to be consciously implemented and delivered INCLUSIVELY with Accountabilty, Competency, Governance and Transparency, regardless of race,religion,personal beliefs or otherwise, for high degree of Sustainability and for the larger benefits of the country and the Rakyat’s welfare. It needs to be carried out orderly and wilfully under the Constitutional Westminster Parliamentary Democracy system….

    There is no short cut.
    Time and events unfolding is not on our side, particularly in the fast changing information technology age.

    Malaysia be blessed, so are the MPs and leaders of our great(?)or disgraceful (?) divides, across the nation and institutions, in particular, those from Sabah and Sarawak.

  6. Look Mustapha Kamil was what promoted last year to bring the sexy back to NST. I like the guy, actually anyone who has ever been a stringer for the mainstream media and interacted with him, knows that he is too….affable…for the hot seat.

    The only other guy who as likable and interested in the new business was P.C. Shivadas and look what happened to him. Back when Rocky didn’t have his oral cavity wrapped around Establishment protuberance, he wrote this about P.C. :

    http://www.rockybru.com.my/2006/06/last-shiv.html

    “Shivadas’ departure is not unexpected. For a while now, his frequent incursions into the editorial floor, spent talking and listening to editors’ views and grouses, have not endeared him to some of the more influential members of the Board.”

    Word around the campfire was that when the NST lied about Xenophon collective heads long buried in the ground, came up for some fresh air and found the stench up above far more unpleasant then what the soil promised.

    The NST is a joke. Has been for a long time. Guess Mus got tired of being the punch line.

  7. For anyone to have spent a quarter of a century in the New Straits Times stable and risen to great heights it is difficult for me not to take his words with a pinch of salt. Has Malaysia been anything but corrupt since Tun M’s time.
    As to the 1MDB quagmire I must admit until the PM throw the culprits to the wolves I must consider him party to a cover up but the Wall Street Jornal is no longer the paper it was now that it is part of the News Corporation. Surely everyone knows that Rupert Murdoch is not a man of integrity as the hacking scandal in Britain showed. And that he has an agenda is obvious. And today’s awards hold little meaning when the greatest murderer of the day, Obama, is the recepient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
    I am waiting for the investigations by several countries to take its course and that integrity will drive them. Stealing from the Treasury must end but if the “truth” is rushed, I feel, the consequences to the country will be even worse.

  8. And the tainted AG was honoured with a “Tan Sri-ship” on the occasion of the Agong’s birthday. This is most unbecoming. Seeing him receiving the award made me wanna puke. And of all person was cowgirl, Sharizat Jalil. She received a “Tan Sri” for her cattle-rustling efforts.

    Well, all said and done, this is Bolehland, after all. Anything and everything is “boleh” for the right price.

    The sight of big mama in her tight-fitting baju kurong was eye-popping. Wonder how all these thieving goons can still smile for the camera.

    And that includes some of my good over-the-hill army friends who willingly agreed to be the recipients’ “pegawai pengiring”. Say plenty of old soldiers, the Malaysian kind lah.

  9. This person has done a lot of damage to the country, spinning untruths while he was in charge.

    Good to know that conscience got the better of him. But simply going quietly will not give him good night sleeps hereon. He should tell all on his past deeds, rather than harbouring these dark secrets to his grave. Time and again, we read and heard about prominent people living wretched retirement saddled in the conflict between conscience and guilt.

    My strong suggestion, tell all to the people you had lied to and hurt, sir!!! The Christians called it “confession”. Surely, Islam has something similar.

    Believe me, sir! Only then will you sleep soundly every night!

  10. Why couldn’ t he mention the WSJ by name? Afraid it would stick in his craw and choke him especially when the NST he led produced so much garbage and was fearful of airing the truth?
    So much for respect for the truth. Once you’ve been tainted with the BN/ UMNO virus it sticks to you like a rotten corpse.
    As for the accountant CEO i’ ll bet he will continue to count his blessings falling into his lap as he nurtures this despicable rag of a paper. His ethics will remain subsumed until he too discovers the thing called conscience.

  11. Mustapha Kamil, you have done the right thing. In no time the truth will exert itself and your sacrifice will shine through and respected by many principled individuals worldwide who follow this 1MDB saga.

  12. Quote:- “He said his decision came after the Wall Street Journal was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in April for its reporting on corruption allegations surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd – which he descibed indirectly as “an issue that happened right under my nose”

    LOL.

    “….right under my nose”

    You mean before that everything was smelling roses?

    I expect that an autobiography is not far off, because it is damn easy to write. All he has to do is just reprint all the wonderful “news” reports and articles he wrote or sanctioned as editor for the last 25 or so years?

  13. Ha ha Tok Cik, Tan Sri Cowgirl and Tan Sri Apandi Pinnochio. I used to look forward to reading the list of receipients but nowadays it’s becoming ridiculous, giving Tan Sri to unknown, to people that have not contributed to the nation, and as expected to recycled politicians so they can cari makan.

  14. /// Conrad June 5, 2016 at 10:01 am
    Back when Rocky didn’t have his oral cavity wrapped around Establishment protuberance, he wrote this about P.C. : ///

    I think you got the Rocky’s cavity wrong – it was the other end of his alimentary canal.

  15. Your website would look 35% more legible by dropping reverse white copy totally. Research by Dr. Gallup on readership surveys had proved so. David Ogilvy would turn in his grave should he read NST online!

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